This study looks specifically at the difference between online and face-to-face collaborative learning among students in a public middle school (grade 8) in central Virginia. The online platform used in the study, Edmodo, allows students in the experimental group to work on their collaborative assignments, which include reading files, answering online quizzes, and participating in discussion threads.
|To learn more about Edmodo, please visit this link|
The control group does all of the above as well, but inside the classroom, face-to-face. The assignments are identical and both groups of students receive instruction on the materials covered by the assignments. Thus, the only difference is how the students perform their assignments, face-to-face versus online. To assess the students, the MOSART exam (Harvard College, 2011), a test that measures understanding of key scientific concepts, has been utilized:
|Above is a screen capture of the Mosart site.|
|Above copied from|
Wendt, J. L. and Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. (2014), The effect of online collaboration on middle school student science misconceptions as an aspect of science literacy. J. Res. Sci. Teach., 51: 1103–1118. doi: 10.1002/tea.21169
One important lesson that should be learned from the above study is that the mere use of technology in the classroom does not necessarily translate to improvements in learning. Some activities like collaborative learning are much better facilitated face-to-face. The results of the above study certainly supports the notion that the DepEd's new K+12 curriculum is truly wrong-headed:
DepEd should realize that collaboration does not require technology. It actually happens a lot easier face-to-face. And it is cheaper to do this inside a classroom.